Monday bento – an attempt at rice balls

For our Monday bento last week I decided to try making “sort of” rice balls. I say “sort of” because I didn’t really follow any specific recipe, and we didn’t have any sushi seasoning, so I couldn’t make sushi rice. I just cooked some steamed jasmine rice in the microwave, and while it was still warm, shaped some into balls. It was very easy – I placed some warm rice in the centre of a square of GLAD wrap, then twirled the wrap tightly around the rice and shaped it into a ball. I’ve read online that you can put salt on the food wrap before you place the rice on it, so the rice will be seasoned that way, but I didn’t add any seasoning to the rice balls until the next morning.

I made the rice balls on Sunday evening and left them in the fridge overnight; in the morning I unwrapped them and rolled them in a little onion salt and dried chives before placing them in our bento boxes. I packed us each a foil packet and a plastic fish-shaped bottle of soy sauce to go with the rice balls.

Rice balls rolled in onion salt and dried chives

I packed us the same lunch. On the right: four rice balls with soy sauce, sliced American weiners, cherry tomatoes and gherkin pickles.On the left: capsicum, sugar snap peas and green beans, ranch dressing for dipping, baby cos lettuce (rolled up), and Jarlsberg Light cheese (also rolled up). I’ve worked out that Jac much prefers the taste and texture of sugar snaps and green beans that have been blanched. It’s so easy to do; I just pour boiling water from the kettle over the vegetables and leave them in the water for a couple of minutes, and that’s just enough to take the rawness away.

My bento

I did GLAD wrap the ranch dressing after I took the photos, so that it wouldn’t spill everywhere in transit.

Jac's bento

I also packed us some strawberries for a sweet finish.

Strawberries for two

Jac loved the vegies and ranch dip (thanks for your suggestion, Nicole!). We both agreed the rice balls were pretty good, but onion salt and soy sauce were perhaps a little too salty together! Next time, I’ll try making sushi rice balls, some with fillings. There are plenty of recipes and how-tos online. I’d like to make some with tuna and Kewpie mayo (read about kewpie and Kewpie mayonnaise) – yummy. I’ll get to that as time permits. :)

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